Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

Do You Fear the Right Thing? Let’s See … A Meditation on the Story of Chicken Little

Fear is a very complex passion. On the one hand, there are things that we ought rightly to fear such as grave physical and spiritual dangers. The fear of being near the edge of a cliff might well save our life. The fear of serious sin and the punishment we might experience or the offense to God (who […] Read the rest of this entry »

Your Love is Lifting Me Higher – A Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Lent

The readings from today’s Mass speak to us of our desperate condition and how God’s abiding love has not only set us free but also lifted us higher. God was not content to restore us to some earthly garden, paradise though it was. No, He so loved the world that He sent His Son, who opened […] Read the rest of this entry »

Tolerance as Tyranny, As Illustrated in a Commercial Starring Darth Vader

Given our discussions on tolerance earlier this week, perhaps a little levity on the matter is good for “freaky Friday” when I try to find something in the culture to illustrate the Gospel. There was a powerful description given by Pope Emeritus Benedict to describe the modern stance of a world that has abandoned any notion […] Read the rest of this entry »

Lost Liturgies File and an Invitation: Solemn Sunday Vespers

  One of the fixtures of larger parish churches prior to the last century was the singing of Vespers (evening prayer) on Sunday afternoons. Prior to the 1950s, Masses were not permitted to be celebrated after 12:00 noon and thus the concept of a Sunday (or Saturday) evening Mass was unknown. Some very beautiful music, indeed […] Read the rest of this entry »

Tolerance Has Its Place, But Also Its Limits – A Brief Consideration of a Widely Misunderstood Virtue

Yesterday we discussed the intolerance of the very radicals who are forever calling for tolerance. A couple of people wrote in to indicate that they consider my stance duplicitous, since I likely support Archbishop Cordeleone’s stance requiring Catholic School teachers to demonstrate loyalty to Catholic teachings and promise not to teach to the contrary in Catholic schools. […] Read the rest of this entry »

Another Illustration That Tolerance Does Not Extend to Faithful Catholics

In another show of selective tolerance from the cultural radicals, there comes the following story, as related in Crisis Magazine. Here are some excerpts from the article: In their zeal to protect students from any comments or opinions that may hurt their feelings, many professors [in this case at Marquette University] have created “safe spaces” in their […] Read the rest of this entry »

What is Piety and How Does the Modern Diminishment of it Spell Doom for Us?

In the modern world, the word “piety” has come to be associated with being religious. And while it does have religious application, its original meaning was far wider and richer. The English word “piety” comes from the Latin pietas, which spoke of family love and by extension love for one’s ancestors,  one’s country, and surely God. […] Read the rest of this entry »

How Can a Demon, Driven Out, Return With Seven More? A Meditation on a Puzzling Parable

The Gospel for the Third Sunday of Lent in the Extraordinary Form features the puzzling parable about the cast-out demon who returns with seven other demons. What is most puzzling is that finding the house (soul) “swept and clean” brings further trouble. One would think a house that is swept and clean is a good thing. How can […] Read the rest of this entry »

A Picture of the Transformed Human Person – A Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Lent

The first reading today contains the Ten Commandments and thereby communicates a brief but sweeping summary of the Christian and biblical moral vision. Too often, there is a tendency to reduce the Christian moral vision merely to a set of rules. And it is a sad fact that many resent the the Church for her “rules” […] Read the rest of this entry »

On Lust and Loss – As Seen in an Animated Story

The video below is an old (1989) Pixar “short” depicting, in a darkly humorous way, the sin of lust. As is often the case in Pixar movies, toys come alive and tell us more about ourselves than we might have known. You might want to view it before reading my commentary. As the video opens, […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Night Prayer of the Church as a “Rehearsal for Death”

Some years ago I was addressing a group of young adults at a “Theology on Tap” gathering. I was asked by an attendee of some ways to avoid temptation. Among the things I offered was to meditate frequently on death, especially at night before going to bed. The bar got very quiet and everyone looked […] Read the rest of this entry »

What Are Passive Purifications and Why Are They Needed?

Have you undertaken certain Lenten practices or abstinences to assist you growth in holiness? If so, you do well. Practices such as these are included in what are known as “active purifications.” Active purifications consist of our holy works and efforts and our mortifications, which, by the grace of God, help to purify our mind, our heart, and what is […] Read the rest of this entry »